Western Alliance Bank Donation Will Expand Green Our Planet’s Hydroponics STEM Program In Utah Schools

November 17, 2022

Salt Lake City - Western Alliance Bank is proud to announce its support of the Green Our Planet Hydroponics STEM Program in Utah, an educational initiative providing students with hands-on STEM learning experiences, nutritional education, and entrepreneurial skills. 

The donation is provided through the Western Alliance Community Foundation, the charitable arm of Western Alliance Bank, and will allow up to 12 Utah schools to receive a hydroponic system of their own. The STEM Action Center of Utah and Green Our Planet, working collaboratively, place the hydroponics systems into schools that have requested them. Each system includes a germination kit, curriculum for kindergarten through fifth grade students, teacher instruction materials, video lessons, plant nutrients and online support for educators.

“A big benefit of Green Our Planet’s hydroponics program and one of the reasons Western Alliance Bank chose to support the program is the inclusion of financial literacy lessons within the curriculum,” said Seth Brinkerhoff, senior director corporate banking, Western Alliance Bank. “The curriculum includes everything they need to know about growing plants, as well as the principles of starting their own business, how to make a business profitable, while also creating a closer relationship with food and money.” 

Green Our Planet operates the largest school garden programs in the country. As it has done in other states, Green Our Planet will eventually coordinate a student-run farmer’s market where students from all participating schools in Utah will have an opportunity to become “farmpreneurs” by selling, marketing, and profiting from the produce they’ve grown. The funds raised by each school at the farmer’s market are funneled back to the school to strengthen the hydroponics program.

“Green Our Planet wouldn’t be where it is without the help of our sponsors, donors, teachers, farmers and students who put in the work to make our programs a success,” said Ciara Byrne, CEO of Green Our Planet. “We would like to thank Western Alliance Bank and the Western Alliance Community Foundation for their support and generosity of our program.”

“We are so grateful for industry partners like Western Bank Alliance who are stepping up to support the Hydroponics program,” said Shelby Averett, communications manager, Utah STEM Action Center. “The funds they are giving will create greater access and opportunity for students who would not get to experience this program otherwise." 

A total of 40 Utah schools have enrolled in the Green Our Planet Hydroponics Program far exceeding expectations. Western Alliance Bank, The STEM Action Center, Green Our Planet and additional community partners are working to attract additional sponsors so that each school seeking a hydroponics system will receive one.

In 2021, Green Our Planet began the hydroponics program in Utah partnering with the Utah State Library Division. There are now 12 hydroponics programs in libraries scattered across four Utah counties. 
 

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